JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — They say all dogs go to heaven, but that is not stopping one man from making the most of his pooch’s final days.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, Neil Rodriguez is taking the ailing animal around the country, crossing sites and cities off a bucket list.
“I’m going to spend as much time with him, and we’re going to go have as many adventures as we can, so that he can enjoy his life while he’s here and I can enjoy my time with him,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez and his dog, Poh, have traveled over 12,000 miles to more than 35 cities together, documenting their travels on their Instagram account – “Poh the Dog’s Big Adventure.”
The 15-year-old Labrador-pit bull mix was rescued as a puppy by Rodriguez, and has now gone coast to coast.
Photos show Poh all around New York City – from Coney Island and DUMBO to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and Times Square. And he is seen at sites all around the country, from the Lincoln Memorial to the Alamo, and from the Space Needle in Seattle to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
The monumental moments may be Poh’s last, after a diagnosis he received four months ago.
“It turned out he was in renal failure, so his kidneys were failing,” Rodriguez said. “And unfortunately, there’s no cure for that. That’s just kind of an old age thing.”
Poh, who also has multiple tumors on his liver, kidney and ankle, struggles to get around on his own. So Rodriguez, a successful international DJ, has put his career on hold to care for his constant companion.
Rodriguez said it’s time to give back, and that is why he decided to take Poh on a road trip.
“It’s funny — the idea is that you get a dog because you’re supposed to take care of the dog, but the dog ends up taking care of you most of the time,” Rodriguez said. “And that’s the case for me.”
Poh now has more than 18,000 Instagram followers who are watching, and in CBS2’s Sanchez’s case, becoming part of his journey.
Sanchez said it is hard not to feel a lump in the throat upon seeing Poh’s first steps into the ocean – knowing he may not set foot there again.
“I have done this trip so that I can focus more on celebrating our life than mourning him,” Rodriguez said. “And I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that getting to see all we have so far. “
As they walk off into the sunset, Rodriguez said he hopes he and Poh have many more posts to share.